So, being honest for a moment: I put these pictures in here earlier in October and forgot about it. I’m a little late, but the garden hasn’t changed all that much in the last week, so oh well: it is what it is.
Aaaaannnyway, we’ve mostly shut down the garden for the year. At this point, I’m still going out a few times a week to grab cherry tomatoes for Meg’s and my lunches during the week. There are some full-size tomatoes still coming on, and we’ve still got peppers out there, but we’re only going out there when we feel like it, or when we need something for some reason.
Brooke picked the popcorn. We got some this year, but nowhere near what we got two years ago. She noticed a squirrel attempting to carry an ear up one of our maple trees a few weeks ago, so we know various pests also went after them. Still, we got something, so it could have been worse. The bean plot has some of last year’s straw bales on it to try and limit the growth of weeds, but other than that, we’re leaving that entire plot alone now.
The tomato and pepper plots are still moving, to a limited degree. Somehow, earlier last week, we ended up with 80+ F temperatures before it started getting cooler. The low tonight is supposed to be 38 F, so we’ve had a big swing in the last week! We’ve also had some rain, so I should probably mow…er…sometime…
Earlier in October, Brooke picked as much as she could handle and ended up with quite a few tomatoes. She’s pretty sure she’s canned over 20 pints thus far, though she put these tomatoes pictured here in the freezer until she’s ready to process them. She expects that she can hit 30 pints by the time it’s all said and done, but the “official” count remains to be seen.
Our pepper crop ended up being pretty solid this year! We didn’t get many traditional bell peppers, but the peppers we ended up with were still relatively mild and tasty.
She ended up canning them after roasting them outside on the grill. The roasting process was straightforward outside and provided the “real estate” to do all of them at one time. Brooke brought them in and cut them all up and put them in small jars in the fridge. I’m not entirely sure what she’s going to do with them, but I suspect they’d be good in a chili or on a pizza. We’ll see!
Lastly, aside from the popcorn in the middle, here’s the soup bean and “pole bean” haul from this year. Not a ton on any of their counts, but still: more than we had before. We will definitely go with pole beans next year, but we haven’t decided whether to go with a more “prolific” variety, or whether we need to just add more arms to the teepee and get more plants going. With regards to the soup beans, we knew going in that we weren’t planting as many as last year (we’ve still got some), but it just feels wrong to not plant them, so here we are. We got something. That’s what matters.
This post probably closes out this year’s garden posts for awhile! I may do another wrap-up later after the sweet potatoes come up, but that doesn’t usually happen until we get closer to the freezing point (which is tonight…incidentally…who knows…silly Missouri weather…). We had a good run in 2018!
Update (10/16/18): Rather than starting a whole new post about this, I figured I’d add a few pictures from yesterday. Our first frost hit last night (a low of 29 F), so we picked the rest of the tomatoes and peppers that were out.
The tomatoes weren’t in the best of shape, but I got almost a “car wash bucket” out of them. I’ll be sad to see the cherry tomatoes go this season, as I’ve been eating them in my lunch twice a week, but I suppose all good things must come to an end…
The peppers were in better shape, overall. Lots of big ones and little ones out there. Brooke’s going to freeze these after she slices and dices them and we’ll use them in chili, on pizzas, etc. I think our pepper haul was shockingly good this year, though I guess I can’t say for certain whether we got more than last year or not (I suspect so…).
Sometime in the next few days, Brooke will dig up the sweet potatoes. That’ll close out the garden for 2018 for good!